Empire and Information: Intelligence Gathering and Social Communication in India, 1780-1870

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Christopher Bayly, already established as one of the most eminent historians of his day, writes a penetrating account of the evolution of British intelligence in India. He describes how Indian spies were recruited to secure political and social information about their subjects, and how the colonial authorities interpreted, and, in some cases, misinterpreted the information supplied. This book will become a classic in the field of Indian and imperian history, and will be read by both scholar and student alike.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This...delivers far more than it initially promises. C.A. Bayly has produced a fascinating study that marries social, material, and intellectual history and that has implications far beyond this particular period in Indian history." Margaret MacMillan, American Historical Review

"This...delivers far more than it initially promises. C.A. Bayly has produced a fascinating study that marries social, material, and intellectual history and that has implications far beyond this particular period in Indian history." margaret MacMillan, American Historical Review

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of maps
List of abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Prologue: surveillance and communication in early modern India 10
2 Political intelligence and indigenous informants during the conquest of India, c. 1785-1815 56
3 Misinformation and failure on the fringes of empire 97
4 Between human intelligence and colonial knowledge 142
5 The Indian ecumene: an indigenous public sphere 180
6 Useful knowledge and godly society, c. 1830-50 212
7 Colonial controversies: astronomers and physicians 247
8 Colonial controversies: language and land 284
9 The information order, the Rebellion of 1857-9 and pacification 315
10 Epilogue: information, surveillance and the public arena after the Rebellion 338
Conclusion: 'Knowing the country' 365
Bibliography 377
Index 401
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